Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023-24
4. Updated Forecasts
4. Updated Forecasts
- 4.1. The Council like all Local Authorities continues to face significant financial challenges. The continued inflationary rises and demand for services such as temporary housing places significant pressure on budgets that is not matched by funding. The increased reliance on reserves to fund in-year pressures as well as funding budget shortfalls is reducing the longer-term financial sustainability of Local Authorities across the sector and creating an even greater need to identify and deliver savings and additional income that can be sustained in the long term.
- 4.2. The production of the updated financial forecast from 2024/25 onwards is challenging due to the uncertainties around funding for local government exacerbated by the economic impact on inflationary pressures. However, the council must continue to plan and prepare for the setting of the annual budget. Taking into account the above factors and known pressures and making assumptions on the level of government funding for 2024/25 the three-year position is summarised in the table below.
Level of government funding for 2024/24 for the three year period £000 2024/25 2025/26 2026/27 Forecast gap 2,514 3,282 4,100
4.3. The above position has been informed by the assumptions around future funding and reflects the known spending pressures and assumptions on these over the next three years. The above summary shows an increasing budget gap for the next three years estimated to be approaching £4.1 million by 2026/27, this is before the detail of the budget for 2024/25 has been produced.
4.4. Detailed work on the 2024/25 budget has already commenced between officers and Members with draft savings and additional income proposals being collated with the Management Team to critically review budgets and look at options to reduce the forecast gap for 2024/25. In addition, the key themes for the MTFS are included at Section 8 and these will be the priorities to be taken forward for reducing the future budget gap.